Best Method To Season a Carbon Steel Pan

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by totte, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Hi, I just ordered a carbon steel pan after using mostly Teflon pans. I did some reading but couldn't find the info I was looking for for.

    I read somewhere that you should not season the pan on an electric stove and that it was preferred to use a gas one. Is this true?

    Also wondering if it's possible to season it in a hot air oven? Got grill function though.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,740
    Likes Received:
    617
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    You can season it on just about any heat source. I personally am a fan of oven methods, assuming it has an oven safe handle. Scrub it with soap and hot water, dry, oil, place in the oven upside down. The upside down trick prevent any excess oil from pooling in the pan itself. If you're worried about drips, place some aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips. I like high heat, 500 for an hour. Let it cool in the oven. If your oven has an automated time bake feature, this can be handy to set before going to bed and let it cool down on its own overnight. 

    All seasoning methods produce some smoke. If you don't have a venting system or do have a sensitive smoke detector you might have some annoyance issues. 

    The electric concern is probably more related to oil tranferring to the burner surface and making a mess. On an electric coil, it will just burn itself off. On a glass top, it could be more problematic and lead to some residue issues. Same for induction. I like carbon steel on induction, but for a first seasoning pass, it might leave some carbonized oil residue. 
     
  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Like many other culinary topics, there is a considerable diversity of opinion on this one. I've never heard that electric should not be used but can imagine why gas may be easier and more controllable.

    DeBuyer specifies boiling potato skins to season carbon steel.  Most folks lightly coat with oil/grease and bake for a while. Which oil/grease is where it gets very controversial. Some swear by flaxseed and others report success using canola and corn oil, or vegetable shortening, or bear/yak grease.  Whichever is used, very thin coats.  The Wok Shoppe recommends stovetop seasoning. Most folks, it seams, seasons in the oven. I've stovetop seasoned as well as oven seasoned. Oven is easier because there is less monitoring required. Wipe the pan with oil, turn upside down and bake for a few hours at a moderate temp. And then remember... seasoned isn't necessarily "non-stick" and is something achieved over time from use, not a one-time activity.
     
  4. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    That's the one! DeBuyer. Got one of those. :D

    As for previous reply, Ive also read you should not use soap. All this is very confusing :p
     
  5. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    How to clean a seasoned pan, cast Iron or carbon steel, is another one of those controversial topics.  Some say no detergent or scrub brushes. Others (me included) use both with no ill effects.

    It can be very confusing... because there really aren't many true secrets that must be followed like they are gospel. If, perchance, some seasoning is removed because of a bad practice it replaces itself with future usage. My carbon steel wok keeps getting scratched by the metal spatula I use... but the seasoning keeps coming back with normal usage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,740
    Likes Received:
    617
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    For the first cleaning, removing protectants (beeswax on debuyer, form release grease and so on), soap is helpful. I occasionally use detergent on some other cleanings too. The biggest risk is really scents from these things can cling and linger and cause flavor problems.
     
  7. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    I tried the potato peel process recommended by deBuyer, and found it caused the steel to mellow in color but never noticed any "seasoning" as one normally thinks of it. Maybe it helped remove the manufacturing oils; IDK. After cooking in it a while it looks just like the deBuyer that I seasoned in the oven using more traditional techniques.
     
  8. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    One night, recently, I made onion jam seasoned with Benedictine in a carbon steel pan. Washed as normal but did not scrub. The next morning made scrambled eggs. Family commented on how nicely seasoned they were but couldn't figure out what "chefy trick" I used. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  9. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Flavor problems sounds scarry! 😨

    Thanks for all the info Brian! Much helpful.
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    86
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    The only time to use soap on CS is when it's brand new, to remove all of the industrial chemicals and preservatives following its manufacture.  From then on I use either a plastic scrubber or, if crud is present, a stainless scrubber.  It's all followed-up with heating with salt.  Then once heated I add about 3 drops of peanut oil and scrub  using a paper towel.  Rinse, dry, slightly heat and wipe with a drop or two of peanut oil.  This is how I season all of my CS, my deBuyer fry pans and my CS wok from China.
     
  11. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Okay, so I got my pan and this is my progress so far. (On the second time now.)

    I'm rubbing it with Fluxseed oil and head it on the stove until smoking point. Then I remove/rub out all the extra oil and rub my pan all over with a very thin layer, top, bottom and handle. Then into the oven for 2h, then I turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven. As you can see on the last picture, I got some spots on the pan, does anyone know why? Should I just keep seasoning it or start over somehow?



     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  12. millionsknives

    millionsknives

    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    484
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Way too much oil
     
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    86
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Agreed.  The amount of oil should be more like a thin film.
     
  14. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    If you're referring to the second picture, I wiped it after the picture was taken. The first picture I realized was a bit too much, that I just heated until smoke point, then poured it out and wiped it thin.

    Still too much?
     
  15. millionsknives

    millionsknives

    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    484
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    I would put a few drops of oil on a paper towel and wipe it with that.  That is all the oil you need. It's a very thin layer.

    I hope you used raw flaxseed/linseed oil.   The boiled stuff is not food safe.
     
  16. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    If you wiped it out so that no oil dropped onto the floor of your oven, you are fine. In fact, no matter... It will work out okay. Seasoning sometimes starts out a bit blotchy and imperfect. Now start cooking. I always recommend burgers and bacon or fried potatoes. Cook, eat, wipe the pan out; repeat... Before you know it you'll have a nice even black seasoning. Just don't get impatient and do something rash like start all over again!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  17. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Yeah, raw ecological is what the bottle says at least. ^^

    Few drops on a paper town is what I this for the second time.
     
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    484
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    What you have on there now is a lot of work to remove.  Just start cooking.  Any extra will burn off over time.
     
  19. totte

    totte

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Alrighty! I was about to loose some weight for the summer! Too bad bacon is too tasty for that! :p

    Anways, thank you so much for being so helpful all of you guys! :D
    Okay, will give it a go later on. ^^
     
  20. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    413
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    My final suggestion (since I watch my weight also): FEED OTHER PEOPLE!